With the steady increase in flexitarian diners across Singapore, it’s a great idea to incorporate more dishes into your menu that fit their dining preferences. And one of the easiest ways to do so, is by simply turning an existing animal meat dish into one that contains plant-based meat instead.
There are a few ways you can do so – from simple swops to more optimised transformations – and we’ll explore some of these options today.
Do a straight one-for-one swop
Sometimes, if your ingredients are simple enough, you can just replace the animal meat in your recipe with plant-based meat. It’s the fastest, simplest and more convenient transformation you can do to satisfy flexitarian (and even vegetarian) diners – without any hassle to your kitchen.
Get creative with remoulding
Plant-based meats also give you an opportunity to do more with your popular meat-based recipes. Instead of simply duplicating a beef ball dish, for example, what about moulding plant-based beef into other shapes and making it into a kid-friendly meal? (Or making it look like a brand-new dish that your diners will be excited about trying?)
Dress it up with a coating
While plant-based meats taste very similar to the animal-based meats they are designed to mimic, there are differences due to their composition/ingredients. If you’d prefer that the plant-based meat version of your popular dish doesn’t compete directly with the animal meat version, dressing it up with breadcrumbs could go a long way towards making it look – and taste – like a fresh take on a classic recipe.
Dissect the recipe and reformulate it
This option can be the most time consuming, but it can also deliver the best results when done right. At our Unilever kitchen, for example, we’ve analysed the composition of Singapore favourites like green curry and kung pao chicken, then strategized methods of cooking these dishes using plant-based alternatives – based on the flavour composition of the original dishes, as well as the composition of various plant-based meats.
This is an undertaking that’s well worth the time and effort!
Test the limits of your creativity
Turning your restaurant’s popular animal meat dishes into options that non-animal-meat-eaters can enjoy, can be an exciting mix of challenge, fulfilment and opportunity.
The best part is, you can use these transformations as part of your restaurant’s marketing efforts – after all, if the most popular dish in your menu is a hearty kung pao chicken dish, you can bet that diners will be intrigued as to whether you’ll be able to create an equally great-tasting, plant-based version of the dish!